Can someone please explain the difference of bass and treble as if to someone with no background knowledge in music? Every time I ask I someone, they always answer as if I'm already an expert on music. They use terms like "the thinness or thickness of a mix", "low end and high end frequencies", "air", "depth", "tinny" and many other terminology I don't understand. And if I hear an audio demonstration I don't know what I'm supposed to listening for and it all sounds the same to me.

  • Do you understand what a "low sound" is and a "high sound"?
    – Draakhond
    Commented Aug 6, 2018 at 10:40
  • I assume one is low pitched and the other is high pitched. However I see people describing two sounds that sound the same as being both
    – Alan
    Commented Aug 6, 2018 at 11:11
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because questions about music practice, theory, terminology, etc. are off-topic.
    – user7708
    Commented Nov 16, 2019 at 1:12
  • 2
    @Maika_Sakuran0miya, Bass and Treble are settings that can be find with music listening devices, hence can be associated with music enjoyment. You need to know what these settings mean if you want to know how to properly adjust your audio listening device.
    – Bebs
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 8:26

4 Answers 4


Sound is created by vibrations. How fast those vibrations are is called "frequency." There is a range of vibrations that the human ear is sensitive to. The slower, bigger vibrations in this range are called "bass." The faster, smaller vibrations are called "treble." Everything else is called "midrange." Many sounds can be a mixture of both kinds of vibrations, and (to add to the confusion) bass notes can generate a kind of "ghost tone" over top of them in the treble range, called "overtones".

Usually bass sounds are conceptualized spatially as "low," and treble sounds as "high." This can cause confusion with (for example) a guitar, where the (larger, thicker) bass strings are at the top, and the treble strings at the bottom. A good way to think of bass versus treble is that bass is characteristic of the voice of (some) adult males, with treble being more like the typical voice of a little girl.

In an audio system, bass sounds are created by large speakers called woofers and sub-woofers, and can vibrate your entire body if they are loud enough. Treble sounds are created by tiny speakers called tweeters, and can be very ear-piercing. Another difference is that treble sounds are experienced as coming from a specific direction, while bass is largely non-directional (because it washes over your whole body). If you have earphones, and you hold them at a distance from your ear, you will only hear the treble. If you press them into your ear, it will tend to make the bass sound louder.


If you stand before a piano/keyboard, the left half is called bass, the right hand treble, therefore the corresponding clefs are called bass clef and treble clef.

Singers have more categories like soprano, alto, tenor, and bass, abbreviated to the starting letters SATB for choral works. In this context the category relates to the standard range for that voice. For instruments the specification is even more detailed and often involves their lowest note.

Older music had "alto" and "tenor" clefs : tenor clef is still used for some instruments, for example bassoon, cello, double bass, trombone and euphonium, and alto clef for the viola.


Bass is low sounds which make a kind of "Boosh" sound

Treble is high sounds which make a more "Bish" sound

Bass deep voice "oo"

Treble higher voice "i"

Take the genre trance for example

What sounds like glass bottles clanging together mixed with a sharpish clang and a "iiiiiiiii" sound is the treble

What sounds like the quiter yet heavier "oo" echo that you cant hear as much is the bass

Search DJ hero 2 tiesto i will be here and listen to about the first 20 seconds of a staticy glass sound which is the "treble" and youll notice a lesser sound behind it thats harder to hear and thats the "bass"

Treble is higher

Bass is lower


Bass = power / Treble = definition, clarity, presence, if that helps any ;)

Just for reminder, it takes years of practice to master music production. Don't blame the others if they provide you "too complex" notions. Just educate yourself, be a nerd, read/watch tutorials, find people/courses which can boost your experience, pratice and be patient.

Check attackmagazine.com & adsrsounds.com, they have solid tutorials, wish you the best.

  • 1
    I've been trying to educate myself. I looked up what thinness was and it said "the lack of thickness in a mix" and when I looked up thickness it said "the lack of thinness in a mix" and most definitions were just circular and confusing
    – Alan
    Commented Aug 5, 2018 at 21:04

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